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US police shoot and kill black woman after standoff

2 August 2016 18:28

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Police in the US city of Baltimore have shot and killed an African-American woman following an hours-long standoff at an apartment complex.

Police officers went to the apartment of Korryn Gaines to serve arrest warrants on her and a man on Monday morning.

The 23-year-old woman was wanted for failing to appear in court on traffic charges dating in March.

The Baltimore County Police Department said in a statement that Gaines pointed a gun at officers when they opened the door.

The officers reportedly retreated and called for backup, Baltimore County police Chief Jim Johnson said. “My personnel showed great firearms restraint during this dialogue.”

At around 3 p.m., Gaines threatened officers verbally and with the gun. One officer fired a single shot, causing the suspect to fire back. Officers then opened fire and Gaines was struck, according to the police account.

A 5-year-old child, believed to be Gaines’ son, was also injured in the shootout and a man was taken into custody.

The police department has not yet released the officers’ names, but said they will be placed on administrative leave.

Racial tensions in the US are at their highest levels in decades following the shooting deaths of a number of African Americans at the hands of mostly white police officers.

The incidents have triggered nationwide protests against police brutality, giving birth to the anti-racism Black Lives Matter movement.

Police killed over 1,150 people in 2015, with the largest police departments disproportionately killing at least 321 African Americans, according to data compiled by an activist group that runs the Mapping Police Violence project.

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